Warships from the UK and NATO allies have escorted nine Russian Navy warships through waters close to the UK, say the Royal Navy.
Offshore Patrol Vessels HMS Mersey and HMS Tyne joined Type 23 frigate HMS Westminster in an operation that saw allied ships monitor the movements of three Steregushchiy-class corvettes, three Ropucha-class landing ships and the same number of missile-armed patrol boats.
Royal Navy warships joined NATO allies from Portugal, Canada, Germany, Norway and Denmark in tracking the Russians through some of the busiest sea lanes in the world, according to a press release.
“The Royal Navy warships were assigned to the very high readiness Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1), which patrols the waters of northern Europe from the Baltic to the Atlantic. British ships worked closely with Portuguese frigate NRP Corte-Real – the task group’s flagship – and Halifax-class frigate HMCS Toronto of the Royal Canadian Navy, while there were numerous supporting vessels from German, Norwegian and Danish navies. Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker RFA Tideforce kept the task group ticking, carrying out replenishment of supplies and fuel to keep the ships at sea and able to continue on their operations.”
Commanding Officer of HMS Westminster, Commander Will Paston, was quoted as saying:
“The Royal Navy demonstrated its flexibility in being able to shadow the Russian Navy units. While the Russian Navy operated in a safe and professional manner, HMS Westminster combined with NATO-allied units across the North Sea and Baltic Sea to escort them throughout.”